All info you like to see before the 2022 Australian Grand Prix starts
The Australian Grand Prix is back to the Formula 1 circus after two seasons missing from the calendar, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The 2022 Formula 1 World Championship season will continue with its third Grand Prix, and we can expect another battle between Red Bull and Ferrari for the top spot at the revamped Albert Park Circuit.
|2022 F1 ranking after two rounds|
|2022 Australian GP Facts & Figures|
|Albert Park Track info|
|2022 Australian F1 GP - Tyres|
|2022 Australian F1 GP Weather Forecast|
|2022 Australian F1 GP podium|
2022 F1 ranking after two rounds
Max Verstappen beat Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc at the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and now both drivers have one win a piece. The Monegasque still leads the early stages of the World Drivers’ Championship by 44 points, after his win in the season-opening Bahrain GP and his second-place finish at Jeddah (along with the Fastest Lap of the race).
Leclerc’s teammate, Carlos Sainz, is second in the WDC with 33 points after finishing second and third in the first two races, with Verstappen third with 25 points.
Formula 1’s return to Australia should be interesting since the track is now providing a new, faster layout that could offer a lot of overtaking chances that were missing from the most recent races at the venue.
Moreover, Mercedes and their current situation is a hot topic of discussion and observation, as the team really needs to solve its issues with the W13 in order to catch Red Bull and Ferrari as soon as possible, otherwise, championship hopes could vanish quickly.
Behind the Top 3 forces of the grid, we have quite a mixed situation, with various teams fighting for points in the first two races. At the moment, Alpine (Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso) ranks fourth in the World Constructors’ Championship with 16 points (a table that has Ferrari at the top, followed by Mercedes and Red Bull).
Haas (Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher) had to endure a forgettable 2021 campaign, but is now fifth in the WCC after scoring points in the first two races with the returning Magnussen, who finished fifth and ninth in the first two Grands Prix.
Alfa Romeo has also performed well to start the season with its new lineup of drivers. Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou scored points at Bahrain and the Finnish driver was having a strong day at Jeddah before mechanical issues hurt his outing.
AlphaTauri (Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda) sits seventh in the WCC, with the Frenchman finishing eighth at Jeddah and the second-year racer achieving the same result in the first race.
McLaren (Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo) had a dismal season-opening weekend at Bahrain, but scored points with Norris’ seventh place at Jeddah. Aston Martin will have Sebastian Vettel back on track in the third event of the year after Covid-19 kept him away from the first two races. In those two, Lance Stroll and Nico Hulkenberg failed to score points.
Williams is also struggling to start the 2022 F1 campaign and hasn’t scored points with its pair of drivers (Nicholas Latifi and Alexander Albon).
2022 Australian GP Facts & Figures
The 25th Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne will be celebrated on Sunday.
The Australian Grand Prix entered the Formula 1 circus in 1985. It was held at the Adelaide Street Circuit, at Adelaide from 1985 to 1995. Adelaide was the last race of the year each time and it was the place of many historical F1 moments. Nigel Mansell losing the 1986 World Drivers’ Championship due to tyre failure was a big one. However, Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill colliding in the 1994 title-deciding race will always be in the minds of any F1 fan.
In 1996, the race venue was changed to Melbourne and the Albert Park Circuit and it has been the inaugural GP of 22 of the last 26 seasons. The most successful driver in Australia is Michael Schumacher, who won four times between 2000 and 2004.
Regarding Pole Positions, Sir Lewis Hamilton has eight to his name, including every Pole Position from 2014 to 2019.
Among the current drivers, Sebastian Vettel has won three times at Melbourne —2011, 2017 and 2018— and Valtteri Bottas won the most recent race at Australia in 2019, for Mercedes.
McLaren is the team with the most wins at Australia since 1985 with 11. Ferrari has won 12 times at Australia, but three of those victories came before Australia joined the World Championship.
Since the switch to Melbourne, Ferrari leads the teams with eight victories. On the engine side, Mercedes engines have 11 wins at Albert Park with three teams —Mercedes itself (4), McLaren (6), and Brawn GP (1).
Albert Park Track info
The circuit has been the subject of some criticism in recent years due to the difficulty it presents for overtaking. A street circuit, Albert Park is not a traditional urban track since it has some real overtaking spots which have not been explored in recent years. However, the famous outwash of each car that generated turbulence in the following cars is now said to have disappeared, and the racing could be better at Albert Park this year.
More importantly, the track has gone through some changes to its layout that will certainly generate a different Grand Prix in 2022.
The circuit length is now 5.279 km and it has 14 corners (it previously had 16). There have been angle changes to several corners and others have been changed. Turn 1 is now 2.5 meters wider on the right-hand side. Turn 3 was also widened by four meters to the right, Turn 6 was also widened by more than seven meters and will see a huge increase in speed. Moreover, the T9-T10 chicane that preceded the straight that put cars into the extremely fast T11-T12 chicane has been eliminated.
Now, there will be a flat-out section from Turn 6 that will go through T7, T8, and into the now T9-T10 chicane. What is now Turn 11 (previously T13) was also re-profiled to increase overtaking chances.
Along with all those changes, the pit lane has been widened by two meters and the entire track has been resurfaced.
The record during a race around the old Albert Park Circuit was set by Michael Schumacher in 2004. The German put the Fastest Lap of 1:24.125 min behind the wheel of his Ferrari F2004 with an average speed of 226,934 km/h.
In 2019, Hamilton set the all-time lap record around the track with his Pole Position lap. The seven-time champion stopped the clock at 1:20.486 min for a scorching lap.
2022 Australian Grand Prix - Tyres
The dry tyres for the 2022 Australian Grand Prix will be the C2 as P Zero White hard, C3 as P Zero Yellow Medium, and C5 as P Zero Red soft.
Pirelli explained their choice to go with this option with a statement in a press release:
“This year there’s an unusual tyre nomination for Melbourne’s famous street track, with a bigger gap than normal between the medium and softest compounds.
The P Zero White hard is the C2 compound and the P Zero Yellow medium is the C3 compound, but rather than the C4, it’s the softest C5 compound as the P Zero Red soft. This will be the race debut for the softest tyre in the 2022 Pirelli range, marking a change from the aborted 2020 race and the 2019 Australian Grand Prix, when the C2, C3, and C4 compounds were selected.
The track has undergone significant modifications for the first time since 1996, when it made its championship debut, now featuring a new layout and asphalt. Seven corners have been modified with two removed entirely, bringing the total number of turns down to just 14 and shortening the track by 28 metres.
The most significant modification is the removal of the Turn 9-10 chicane, which is replaced by a long, sweeping bend. Turns 1 and 3 have been widened on the inside, as has Turn 6, which is now significantly faster. Later in the lap, what was Turn 13 (now Turn 11) has been realigned to tighten the angle.
The penultimate corner (now Turn 13) is another to have been widened, and also one of several to have its camber adjusted to allow for different lines to be taken.
As a temporary facility, Albert Park used to be quite bumpy but the new asphalt may have reduced this. This new surface should offer low grip (scoring two out of five) and reasonably contained levels of asphalt abrasion, which is set to result in moderate wear. The whole track is likely to be very ‘green’ and slippery at the start of the weekend, with a high degree of evolution expected (marked four out of five in Pirelli’s classification).
Traction is important to get a good drive out of the short straights and corners, while braking and lateral forces are average. The severity of the loads is also average, with overall tyre stress again scoring three out of five.”
The minimum starting pressures for the tyres will be 24.5 PSI (front) and 21.5 PSI (rear).
2022 Australian F1 GP Weather Forecast
Friday, April 8th - FP1 & FP2
Conditions: Partly cloudy
Max. temperature: 23°C
Chance of rain: 25%
Sunday, April 10th - Race
Conditions: Breezy in the morning; otherwise, mostly cloudy
Maxi. temperature: 26°C
Chance of rain: 9%
Who will be on the 2022 Australian Grand Prix Podium?
The pecking order looks quite clear at the top. As long as cars and drivers can stay reliable and on track, the Top 4 should have Red Bull (Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez) and Ferrari (Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz) cars on Sunday, with the Mercedes pair trying to catch up to the top runners.
Behind, there is quite an interesting battle, as we even saw an Alpine car out-qualifying Mercedes at Jeddah and having a strong race. However, Alpine also ran into reliability issues, as well as Alfa Romeo, which had a similar situation with Valtteri Bottas.
The podium places are likely reserved for Red Bull and Ferrari. Of course, races have to be celebrated before seeing the results, and anything could happen. The Mercedes pair of Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will need some issues solved on their cars to challenge for top spots.
We can expect a good race and a great atmosphere at Melbourne for the first Australian Grand Prix since 2019, and this new era of Formula 1 could continue to bring us a good battle and some unexpected results all throughout the grid.
Our podium prediction for the 2022 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix is: 1. Max Verstappen, 2. Sergio Pérez, 3. Charles Leclerc.
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